Lansdowne Democratic Committee Statement on Reproductive Rights of Women

The Lansdowne Democratic Committee declares our staunch support for the Reproductive Rights of Women, including access to safe, legal abortions. Upon learning of the draft opinion by Justice Alito of the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade (1973), we register our strenuous objection to this opinion. The rationale used by Justice Alito is based on the view of the constitution in its original form, when protection of rights extended only to white male property owners. The opinion declares that the Fourteenth Amendment cannot protect the right to abortion because such a right is not “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.”

This interpretation of the Constitution threatens more than 50 years of social progress and can lead to dismantling of rights previously established by the Supreme Court: the right to use birth control; the right to marry regardless of gender and race lines; and the right to engage in sexual intimacy between consenting adults. The opinion is written in such a way that nothing is sacrosanct in the way of rights for any other group or persons than wealthy white males and could allow segregation. The Lansdowne Democratic Committee strongly supports protections afforded by Supreme Court decisions and urges legislation be passed to solidify these rights. The 1965 Griswold v Connecticut decision set precedent and was the first time in American history that the Supreme Court found a right to privacy. Since then, the Court has found a “right to privacy” in the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th and 14th Amendments and applied them to American law.

The Griswold decision and others have been part or all of the basis for legalizing interracial marriage (Loving v Virginia 1967), abortion (Roe v Wade 1973) (Planned Parenthood v Casey 1992), gay sex (Lawrence v Texas 2003), gay marriage (Obergefell v Hodge 2015), and even private phone calls without a search warrant (Carpenter v US 2018). The reversal of Roe sets the stage for repealing any and all of the decisions mentioned here. And the destruction of our privacy rights would be very useful to an authoritarian president in wielding the law for his own purposes.

This is no time to become discouraged or despondent, but a time for action. Political history shows us that the last two Supreme Court efforts to take away Americans’ rights (Dred Scott v Sanford 1857) and (Plessy v Ferguson 1896) were ultimately failures. History tells us there is a difficult road ahead, but that the next turning of events will nevertheless be toward progress. The question today is how long it will take, and how many women will die in back-alley abortions before we get there. The length of time is directly related to how politically active good people like you are willing to become and for how long. Come join the Lansdowne Democrats in the fight now at the grassroots level! Email today to sign up on the side of progress.